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Russian arms dealer says he wished Griner good luck at prisoner exchange

Russian arms dealer says he wished Griner good luck at prisoner exchange

VIKTOR Bout, the arms dealer freed in a prisoner swap for U.S. basketball star Brittney Griner, said he wished her good luck on the tarmac in Abu Dhabi where they were exchanged. Bout, who spent 14 years in U.S. jail for arms trafficking, money laundering and conspiring to kill Americans, was swapped on Thursday for the basketball star, jailed this year for bringing cannabis vape oil when arriving to play for a Russian team. Russia's FSB security service released images of the two being led past each other on the tarmac at the airport in Abu Dhabi during the swap,…
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Brittney Griner arrives in the U.S. after prisoner exchange with Russia

Brittney Griner arrives in the U.S. after prisoner exchange with Russia

A plane carrying basketball star Brittney Griner landed in the United States early on Friday, nearly 10 months after she was detained in Russia. Griner was released in a prisoner swap with Russia in exchange for arms dealer Viktor Bout and was heading home on Thursday, ending what President Joe Biden called months of "hell" for her and her wife. Griner, 32, a two-time Olympic gold medalist and star of the Women's National Basketball Association's Phoenix Mercury, flew into San Antonio, Texas. She was arrested on February 17 at a Moscow airport after vape cartridges containing cannabis oil, which is banned in…
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Brittney Griner released from Russian custody in prisoner swap with Viktor Bout

Brittney Griner released from Russian custody in prisoner swap with Viktor Bout

NANDITA BOSE and HUMEYRA PAMUK U.S. basketball star Brittney Griner has been released in a prisoner swap with Russia in exchange for Viktor Bout, a former arms dealer, and was heading back to the United States, ending what President Joe Biden called months of "hell" for her and her wife. The swap was arranged after talks spanning months during a time of high tensions between the two countries in the wake of Russia's February invasion of Ukraine. The exchange took place in the United Arab Emirates at Abu Dhabi airport, where the two walked past each other on a tarmac, a U.S. administration…
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Russia attacks in east Ukraine but Kremlin appears to limit war ambition

Russia attacks in east Ukraine but Kremlin appears to limit war ambition

RUSSIAN forces attacked settlements in eastern Ukraine from the ground and air, officials said, in support of the Kremlin's apparently scaled-back ambition of only securing the bulk of Ukrainian lands it has claimed in the war. Fighting was underway along the entire line of demarcation in the Donetsk region, with the frontline town of Avdiivka shelled by Russian tanks on Thursday morning, said Tatiana Ignatchenko, a spokeswoman for the regional administration. Near the city of Lysychansk, Russia deployed more troops to try to capture the village of Bilohorivka, Ukraine's governor of the Luhansk region said, while a commander in another fought-over settlement…
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US basketball star Griner, facing Russian jail term, sends thanks for support

US basketball star Griner, facing Russian jail term, sends thanks for support

AMERICAN WNBA basketball star Brittney Griner, whose appeal against a Russian jail term is due to be heard next week, sent her supporters a message of thanks on Tuesday, her 32nd birthday. The two-time Olympic gold medallist was arrested on February 17 at a Moscow airport with vape cartridges containing cannabis oil in her luggage and was sentenced on August 4 to nine years in a penal colony on drug smuggling charges. Her appeal is due to be heard next Tuesday. "All the support and love are definitely helping me," Griner was quoted as saying by her lawyers Maria Blagovolina and Alexander…
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Brittney Griner faces bleak life in Russian penal colony

Brittney Griner faces bleak life in Russian penal colony

MARK TREVELYAN, FILIPP LEBEDEV and SIMON LEWIS TEDIOUS manual work, poor hygiene and lack of access to medical care - such are the conditions awaiting U.S. basketball star Brittney Griner in a Russian penal colony after she lost her appeal last week against a nine-year drug sentence. It's a world familiar to Maria Alyokhina, a member of the feminist art ensemble Pussy Riot who spent nearly two years as an inmate for her part in a 2012 punk protest in a Moscow cathedral against President Vladimir Putin. The first thing to understand, Alyokhina said in an interview, is that a…
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